BAKU, November 1. /TASS/. More than 5,500 polling stations for voting in the elections to the Azerbaijani parliament (Milli Mejlis) have opened on Sunday at 8 a.m. local time (7 a.m. Moscow Time). More than 5,1 million voters may take part in the voting, which will last until 7 p.m. local time (6 p.m. Moscow Time). The voting will take place only inside the country, there will be no polling stations outside Azerbaijan.
More than 430 representatives from 15 political parties and one bloc comprising 7 parties, as well as independent candidates, are fighting for the right to sit in parliament in the coming five years. The largest number of candidates - 116 - has been nominated by the Eni Azerbaijan (New Azerbaijan) ruling party.
In accordance with the country’s legislation, the elections will be considered valid with any number of votes. To win a candidate has to secure a simple majority of votes.
A total of 503 international observers representing up to 40 international organizations and 53 countries are monitoring the elections. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has sent the greatest number of observers - 147. There are also observers from the Central Election Commission of Russia and the Russian State Duma. The mission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is led by Spanish lawmaker Jordi Chukla. The preliminary results are expected to be available on November 2.